Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he had emphasized his government’s determination to fulfill the requirements of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) program in a conversation with the managing director of the lender yesterday.
The phone call occurs at a time when Pakistan’s economy is becoming more agitated and its foreign exchange reserves only cover less than three weeks’ worth of imports.
PM Shehbaz posted on Twitter, “In a phone call with Managing Director [Kristalina Georgieva] of the IMF yesterday, I told her about the government’s resolve to complete the terms of the IMF’s program.”
The announcement from the prime minister comes a day after he predicted that an IMF delegation would visit Pakistan in “two to three days” to complete the ninth review of Pakistan’s $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Pakistan began a $7 billion IMF program in 2018, and it was expanded to $6 billion in 2019. The program is presently awaiting its ninth evaluation, which would release $1.18 billion. It was previously delayed for two months because the Fund’s terms were not accepted by the PML-N-led government. These differences have still not been resolved.
The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves have dropped to an eight-year low of $5.576 billion for the week ended on December 30, 2022, indicating that the nation is currently experiencing a serious cash shortage.
Due to this decrease, the government was unable to repay its international debts without taking out new loans from allies.